Fighter, do not sleep!

Fighter, do not sleep!

Any State calls or hires an army of people who need to be on guard its interests around the clock seven days a week. But people — being imperfect, and physiological laws of functioning of his body provides such a pleasant for us, but this is uncomfortable for the army and the state process is like a dream.

Dive into the realm of Morpheus ("The Matrix" nothing to do with that name of the ancient Greek god of dreams) allows a person to relax and rejuvenate. However, just to lose precious time in the army has no plans. The military leaders of all time dreaming about the soldiers who do not know fatigue, pain and fear. That is why military medicine had to come to grips with this issue.

The first warning sign is sufficient at the end of the XIX century from Germany. The soldiers and officers who were returning from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, almost every one turned out to be a morphine addict. To ease the "hardships of military service," many pricked himself morphine, quite fashionable at the time drug "means" almost all diseases.

War, they suffered relatively well, but when he returned to civilian life, could not give up the addiction. From the point of view of modern medical knowledge of morphine and its derivatives — it is understandable why.

Wonderful nuts and magic powder

Experimented with his soldiers andarmy France. Watching the native wars in Africa, the French soldiers were amazed endurance local tribes. The main part of their diet made up fresh nuts plants Cola acuminata— Cola acuminata. Africans are told that these wonderful fruits and quench hunger, and energy is added, and the bed after they do not want, and even prevent many of the diseases.

However, these stories are very long time considered fairy tales, as long as one of the French officers did not put the experience for yourself. He pulverized into powder cola nuts and ran for African mountains for 12 hours without fatigue. The report will invigorate colonel was seen, and the mysterious nut come to grips with the scientists whose work is immediately classified as secret by the military.

After a thorough analysis of the chemical composition of fruits Cola revealed that they contain 2.5 percent caffeine and unique complex of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Extract made from nuts and cooked "crackers with accelerator", which in 1885 during field trials were fed a battalion soldier. On the "energy" (whatever they are now called) bread crumbs and water war without respite otmarshirovali 55 miles in 10 hours on the African znoyu.

It is noteworthy that the next day, after an overnight stop, the battalion also cheerfully returned to the fort. Then the experiment was repeated on a larger military unit — a march to the "accelerator" soldering went a whole regiment. The result was the same. It would seem that everything is just fine, but a number of side effects caused renounce the use of "miraculous crackers" in its purest form. One of them was particularly uncomfortable in combat — an extract of cola nut serves as a powerful sexual stimulant.

It was necessary to raise the "magic powder" food, reducing side effects and, at the same time, weakening the main action. The most successful was mixing the extract with chocolate. So successful that the chocolate is still registered in the food rations of practically all armies in the world.

Vodka with cocaine — that's our

The main stimulator of the stress and part-tread the beginning of XX century was the alcohol (vodka, schnapps and other spirits). He not only raised the morale and allowed another look at the death, but also helped to overcome the painful shock when injured.

During the First World War, Russia was created by "trench cocktail", after which the Pacific might seem a puddle in the alley. The composition of drugs were cocaine and alcohol. During the Civil War, this hellish mixture used both opposing sides. "Nakokteylivshiesya" fighters did not know fear, fatigue and pain. But here's a painless return to civilian life could then not everything.

During the Second World War, alcohol has also been an important part of maintaining the combat readiness of soldiers and officers enough to remember "narkomovskaya" one hundred grams. Often he also served as a general anesthetic during surgery in field hospitals.

But the scientific thought did not stand still, the achievements of chemistry and medicine led to quite a big breakthrough in the creation of a "universal" soldiers. Even then, in the armies of the Warring States stimulants were tested on the basis of meth, ephedrine and amphetamine. In our time Similar developments are also underway, but for the masses, they remain classified information.

I tablet, a tablet

Modern researchers solve the same task as their predecessors — create a "sleepless", a tireless fighter. The head of the Pentagon's research agency identified the motivation of such research is very simple: "Removing the need for sleep during active hostilities fundamentally change the strategy and tactics of warfare."

One of the programs developed in the United States — CAP (Continuous Assisted Performance Program). Its leader, John Carney (John Carney) defines the purpose of research as the "seven days and seven nights without sleep." In this case, points are based on similar abilities of birds and animals. It is widely known, for example dolphins reside in wakefulness (otherwise they would not be able to breathe in an aqueous medium). Bald sparrows also for a long period of not sleeping, in a word, there is a chance to find a solution to the problem with Mother Nature.

Other programs seek an answer in chemistry. The benefit of its modern possibilities are endless. Thus, the British Ministry of Defence has purchased a huge amount of stimulant with a rather controversial reputation for its troops in Iraq. The defense department has purchased more than 24,000 capsules of the drug Provigil, which licensed in the UK and the U.S. for use only in cases of severe neuropsychiatric disorders associated with abnormal daytime sleepiness.

Experts believe that the psychostimulant can be used "off-license" in order to maintain a constant state of wakefulness pilots of military aircraft and military special forces. The British began to use the drug in 2001 in Afghanistan, France and the United States have a long and active use of psychostimulants in their armies. The French Foreign Legion is using these drugs in 1991, and the U.S. Army their widespread use temporarily capped after the incident in April 2002.

Then, in Kandahar, two F-16 pilot mistakenly bombed a convoy of Canadian soldiers, resulting in four people were killed and eight were wounded. Subsequent investigation found that both pilots were under the influence of the stimulant amphetamine, which received before performing the task. The British plan to use a psychostimulant to maintain "in the form of" Special Forces soldiers, which is involved in operations lasting more than 48 hours, as well as for pilots during long patrols airspace.

It should be noted that the exact mechanism of action and possible side effects of the drug Provigil unknown even to the manufacturer. According to some reports, Provigil can cause increased anxiety, agitation, irritability, dizziness and headache. In addition, there may be gastrointestinal disorders (nausea and abdominal pain), high blood pressure and arrhythmias.

Military interest Provigil'u explained by the desire to find an alternative to existing stimulants — caffeine and amphetamine. Caffeine has a rather low efficiency, and addictive amphetamine, developing into amphetamine addiction.

And you want to, and prickly

Thus, any abuse of the body is dangerous. Because
he is an organism that is known for its rancor and revenge. And be sure to remind you that it was then and that's when it ruthlessly deprived of sleep. And remind on your own and "selection of weapons" will always be with him. But most of the suffering psyche. Thus, according to the Army Medical Research Institute of Walter Reed (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research) every five American soldiers returning from Iraq suffers from a mental disorder, post-traumatic syndrome.

And after that, they are included in a special government program in which previously were only victims of sexual violence. There he prescribed ecstasy for getting rid of bad memories and nightmares. The Israeli army for the same purpose are going to use the main psychoactive component of marijuana — delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

C no less difficult in the Soviet Union faced psychological rehabilitation of veterans of the Afghan war, but about the problem modestly silent. The soldiers and officers who took part in the operations in Chechnya, psychological assistance — to the extent possible, of course. Recruited as military psychologists and psychiatrists.

And in February 2005 in the city of Novocherkassk, Rostov region is a center for the rehabilitation of special forces of the North-Caucasian region of the Internal Troops (VV RMS) involved in counterterrorism operations in the North Caucasus. Treatment and rehabilitation on the basis of the center can be held for up to 20 people.

So that army first try to make sure that the soldiers did not sleep, and then — that they fell asleep. And even if the first fails, the second is for some people turns into a huge problem. Especially if it's not a regular professional military, and an inexperienced rookie. The next race between the capabilities of scientific and technological progress and the adaptive resources of the human body wins progress. And lose — both literally and figuratively — we are with you.

Alexei Vodovozov

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